Saint Mary School is pleased to announce two grant awards totaling $13,000 from Foundations in Education.
Grants encourage STEAM learning and student-centered fluid workspaces
A $7,500 grant was awarded to Kindergarten teacher Joanne Seavy for Lego/STEAM. The grant will enable our students in grades K-5 to enhance their understanding of, and confidence in, STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts, and Mathematics) subjects, while working together to design, create and build with LEGO systems. Specifically, through this grant STEAM Park sets, Coding Express systems, Simple Machine sets, Powered Machines kits and WeDo 2.0 sets will be purchased.
“We are so excited to receive this grant as it will allow us to make innovative learning experiences available to every elementary student at Saint Mary School. Through the purchases made possible by this funding, we can provide students with differentiated learning experiences that contribute to the development of multiple skills including, technological know-how, problem-solving, and critical thinking, while enforcing emotional intelligence abilities such as perseverance, collaboration, and empathy” said Seavy.
A $5,500 grant was awarded to Middle School English/Language Arts teacher Jennifer Kasinskas for flexible seating. The goal is to create student-centered fluid workspaces that support instructional best practices and promote collaborative learning. Flexible seating empowers educators to structure collaborative lessons and increase student engagement. “Flexible seating gives students the option to control the physical environment in which they work best. In other words, with choices, students gain greater flexibility and control of their surroundings giving them the autonomy and comfort to stay involved and focused. This leads to increased student engagement which is linked to higher motivation and academic performance, as well as improved overall behavior,” said Kasinskas.
The grants are among the 26 awards funded by Foundations, totaling $137,500. In all, 40 grant proposals were received from 19 of the twenty-six Diocesan-sponsored Catholic schools in Fairfield County. The grant requests totaled nearly $300,000, more than double the available funding.
“We encourage teachers to discover new and innovative avenues for learning. Teachers are sharing their vision with us and we are investing in them and their students,” explained Foundations’ Executive Director Holly Doherty-Lemoine.
An awards ceremony took place on Thursday, January 30th at the Discovery Museum in Bridgeport where grant honorees shared their creative vision with Foundations’ Board of Trustees, Grant Committee members, and Donors.
For more information on Saint Mary School, please visit www.smsridgefield.org or call (203) 438-7288.
About Foundations in Education
Foundations in Education is an independent nonprofit initiative created to assist the Diocese of Bridgeport’s ongoing mission to support Catholic education in Fairfield County. The grant program, now in its third year, invests in a teacher’s creative project and professional development. Grants are intended for transformative initiatives that benefit multiple grade levels and have a long-term impact on student learning. For information on Foundations in Education, please visit www.foundationsineducation.org or call (203) 416-1405.